HEALTH

Hearth Attack Cardiac Arrest

Occupational Therapy Prevent Tooth Decay Circadian Rhythm Disorder Heart Healthy Labels Assessing Supplements Silent Killers Low Vision Solutions

Sudden Cardiac Arrest Or Heart Attack: Know The Difference

(NAPSI)—A little knowledge can be a lifesaving thing. Too often, people use “sudden cardiac arrest” and “heart attack” interchangeably, but they shouldn’t.

A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked and sudden cardiac arrest is when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly. A heart attack is a “circulation” problem and sudden cardiac arrest is an “electrical” problem. Here are a few more facts it may be healthy to know from the American Heart Association.

What Is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack occurs when a blocked artery keeps oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. The longer a person goes without treatment, the greater the damage. Symptoms of a heart attack may be immediate and intense. More often, though, symptoms start slowly and persist for hours, days or even weeks before the heart attack. The heart usually does not stop beating during a heart attack. Symptoms can differ in men and women.

What Is Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest often occurs without warning. It’s triggered by an electrical malfunction in the heart that causes an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). With its pumping action disrupted, the heart cannot send blood to the brain, lungs and other organs. Seconds later, a person loses consciousness and has no pulse. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.

What Is the link?

These two distinct heart conditions are linked. Sudden cardiac arrest can occur after a heart attack or during recovery. Heart attacks increase the risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Most heart attacks do not lead to sudden cardiac arrest but when sudden cardiac arrest occurs, heart attack is a common cause. Other heart conditions may also disrupt the heart’s rhythm and lead to sudden cardiac arrest. These include a thickened heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), heart failure, and arrhythmias, particularly ventricular fibrillation and long QT syndrome.

What To Do: Heart Attack

Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or other emergency response number. Every minute matters. It’s best to call EMS to get to the emergency room right away. Emergency medical services staff can begin treatment when they arrive—up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance may get faster treatment at the hospital, too.

What To Do: Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest is reversible in most victims if it’s treated within a few minutes. First, call 9-1-1 for emergency medical services. Then use an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. Begin CPR immediately and continue until professional emergency medical services arrive. If two people are available to help, one should begin CPR immediately while the other calls 9-1-1 and finds an AED.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death—nearly 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur annually in the United States . By performing immediate CPR, you can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.

Learn More

You can find further information about how to help save a life with CPR at www.heart.org/CPR.

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Lifting The Weight Of Life’s Pressures

(NAPSI)—When it seems like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, the answer may be—more weight...in a special weighted blanket, that is.

Here’s the blanket statement on how it works:

Weighted blankets can be a safe and effective nondrug therapy for anyone seeking a solution for loss of sleep or need for calm.

“In psychiatric care, weighted blankets are one of our most powerful tools for helping people who are anxious, upset and possibly on the verge of losing control,” says occupational therapist Karen Moore. “These blankets work by providing input to the deep pressure touch receptors throughout the body,” she adds. “Deep pressure touch helps the body relax. Like a firm hug, weighted blankets help us feel secure, grounded and safe.”

Weighted blankets can be used to provide relief and comfort in cases of:

• Sensory disorders

• Sleep disorders

• AD/HD (Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder)

• Asperger’s and autism spectrum disorder

• Restless leg syndrome (RLS) and fidgeting legs due to chemotherapy treatments, menopause symptoms and fibromyalgia

• Anxious feelings and panic symptoms, stress and tension

• Dental anxiety

• Menopause symptoms.

Occupational therapists and doctors also recommend weighted blankets for Alzheimer’s disease, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, bipolar disease and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As SFC David DeMarco, U.S. Army, Retired, says, the “calming” effect can assist with restless sleep and PTSD.

They work because the deep pressure stimulation that happens when you get a hug is similar to cuddling up with a weighted blanket. “Pressure is calming to the nervous system,” says Temple Grandin, who invented the squeeze machine.

To make it easier to achieve this comfort, Mosaic Weighted Blankets® are filled with just enough nontoxic Poly-Pellets to provide deep pressure touch stimulation without uncomfortable restriction.

The blankets are custom made for each person to get the right size and weight. They can cover the whole body for sleeping or just the legs. Lap blankets and wraps are also available and they all come in a variety of fabrics and patterns that appeal to children and adults.

Learn More

Mosaic Weighted Blankets® relieve the mind, relax the body and release the spirit, letting the rested and calmer you shine through. For more information, call (512) 567-8943 or visit www.mosaicweightedblankets.com.

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Preventing Childhood Tooth Decay is as Easy as 2 Minutes, Twice a Day

(NAPSI)—Here’s health news you can sink your teeth into: Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, with more than 16 million kids suffering from untreated tooth decay in the U.S. The mouth is the gateway to overall health, and an unhealthy mouth can be associated with obesity, diabetes and even heart disease. In the U.S. , oral disease causes kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually.

Nevertheless, a survey by the Ad Council found less than half of American parents report that their children brush their teeth twice a day.

A Solution

To remedy that, The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives was formed. It’s a coalition of more than 35 leading dental health organizations and, with the Ad Council, they created the Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign to teach parents, caregivers and children about the importance of oral health and simple ways to prevent oral disease.

Created pro bono by ad agencies Grey Group and Wing in New York, the campaign stresses the importance of brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day.

“The messages in this campaign may seem simple but their impact will be felt for years to come,” said Gary Price, Secretary and CEO of the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. “Most mouth disease is preventable using steps that can easily become a part of every child’s life routine.”

According to the survey, 60 percent of parents with children ages 12 or younger don’t regularly help their children brush or check to make sure they’ve done a good job. Parents also report that, on average, their child spends more than 2 hours a day on such things as playing video games, texting or watching online videos.

The campaign suggests some of this time be used for improving their oral health with public service announcements (PSAs) that poke fun at the things children spend their time doing and highlight that it only takes 2 minutes, twice a day to help maintain a healthy mouth and prevent future oral pain. Other PSAs feature Elmo from “ Sesame Street” or Tooth—the Tooth Fairy from the film “Rise of the Guardians.”

Music To Brush By

For entertaining two-minute videos to play while children brush their teeth, parents and caregivers can go to www.2min2x.org (available in English and Spanish and in a mobile version). There’s also messaging on Facebook and Twitter.

More Information

Learn more at www.2min2x.org.

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Circadian Rhythm And Blues: When Your Body Clock Can’t Reset

(NAPSI)—Most of us feel alert when it’s light outside and want to sleep when it’s dark. Light is the cue that helps our internal body clock—or “master body clock”—synchronize to the 24-hour day. In people with a circadian rhythm disorder, however, the timing of this clock is disrupted, causing our rhythms to get out of sync.

Non-24-Hour Disorder, or Non-24, is one of the rarest and most difficult-to-correct circadian rhythm disorders. People with Non-24 lack the day-night cues needed to help regulate their master body clock. The disorder, although rare in the general population, is unfortunately very common in people who are totally blind, affecting 50 to 70 percent of people who are totally blind.

Normally, light is the primary environmental time cue that resets the body clock each day, but in totally blind people, the lack of light information reaching the brain causes the clock to run on its own time, which in most people is naturally longer than 24 hours. People with Non-24 have a master body clock that continually delays, putting them to sleep later and later each night. Eventually, the night turns into day, with patients having an overwhelming drive to sleep in the day and stay awake at night, before cycling back to normal and beginning the cycle all over again.

The inability to live on a 24-hour day makes it difficult to keep to a schedule and hold a traditional job, attend school, or even socialize regularly. The lack of sleep associated with the disorder can decrease alertness and memory, which are essential to daily functioning. In addition, Non-24 can cause shifts in body temperature and hormone secretion, and alter the pattern of mood and performance.

“Some people who have non-entrained rhythms find the condition so disruptive that it is as bad as being blind,” said Harvard neuroscientist Steven Lockley. “Imagine the worst jet lag possible for sometimes weeks on end—that’s what some of these patients are going through.”

Although Non-24 impacts people’s sleep patterns, it is not just a “sleep disorder”—it is a disruption of the master body clock that affects much more than sleep, such as metabolism and immune function. Diagnosing the condition is not as simple as conducting an overnight sleep test. Instead, doctors should look for changes in sleep and wake cycles over several weeks using a sleep diary, while also assessing changes in the timing of hormones such as melatonin and cortisol, in order to diagnose this circadian rhythm disorder.

There are no FDA-approved treatment options currently available for totally blind people living with Non-24, but studies are under way. For more information on Non-24, visit www.non-24.com.

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Accessorize Your Dinner Table With A Heart-Healthy Label

(NAPSI)—Whether you eat most of your meals at home or tend to grab something on the go, eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. A good place to start is looking at the nutrition information located on the food package or provided by the restaurant, especially when you look for the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark.

You can find the Heart-Check mark on heart-healthy foods in the grocery store or in select restaurants offering certified heart-healthy meals. In addition to looking for the Heart-Check mark when you grocery shop or go out to eat, here are some other ways you can make healthy choices.

Hints To Help You Grocery Shop

• Limit your total fat to no more than 56 to 78 grams a day, including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat and less than 200 mg of cholesterol in a 2,000-calorie diet.

• Fuel up on fruits and vegetables. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Give your body what it needs—4½ cups every day—to make sure your body isn’t running on empty. Try one cup of fruits and vegetables at every meal and two snacks with one cup each and you’ll be on your way.

• Check total calories per serving. Generally, for a 2,000-calorie diet, 40 calories per serving is considered low; 100 calories per serving is considered moderate; and 400 calories or more per serving is considered high.

• Look at the serving size and avoid consuming more than one.

Dining Out

• Avoid such extras as cocktails, bread and butter, or chips and salsa.

• Ask for butter, cream cheese, salad dressing, sauce, gravy and other condiments on the side, so you can control the quantity you consume.

• Instead of fried foods, go for baked, boiled or grilled.

• Steer clear of high-sodium foods such as those served pickled, in cocktail sauce, smoked, in broth or au jus, or in soy or teriyaki sauces.

• Be selective at salad bars. Choose fresh greens, plain vegetables without added sauces, fresh fruits and beans; steer away from cream-based or cheese dressings; and opt for healthy vegetable oil-based dressing, such as vinegar and olive oil. Limit cheeses, marinated salads, pasta salads and fruit salads with whipped cream.

• As a special treat, choose desserts and make smart choices. Fresh fruit, fruit ice, sherbet, gelatin and angel food cake are better choices.

• Instead of cream, ask for fat-free or 1 percent milk for coffee or fat-free half-and-half. Low-fat soy or almond milks may also be good choices.

• Ask your server how particular foods are prepared and what ingredients they contain.

• Ask if smaller or lunch portions are available or whether you can share entrées with a companion. If smaller portions aren’t available, ask for a to-go box when you order and place half the entrée in the box to eat later.

• Ask if substitutions are possible. For example, if a dish comes with French fries or onion rings, ask whether you can get a salad with vegetables with the dressing on the side. Instead of mayonnaise-laden coleslaw, ask if you can get fruit or vegetables instead.

Watch Out For The Salty Six

Sodium overload is a major health problem in the United States . The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, more than twice the level needed for a healthy heart.

Sodium affects not just your heart health but your appearance as well. It can make your face feel puffy, give you bags under your eyes, increase swelling in your fingers, and make your clothes look and feel tighter.

Many people may be surprised at these six popular foods that can add high amounts of sodium to your diet. Looking for the Heart-Check mark on the Salty Six is an important way to find better options in these food categories.

1. Breads and Rolls. Some foods that you eat several times a day, such as bread, add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving may not seem high.

2. Cold Cuts and Cured Meats. One 2-oz. serving—six thin slices—of deli meat can contain as much as half your daily sodium limit. Look for lower-sodium varieties.

3. Pizza. A slice of pizza with several toppings may contain more than half of the sodium you need daily for good health. Limit the cheese and add more veggies to your next slice.

4. Poultry. Sodium levels in poultry can vary greatly depending on the processing—sometimes, sodium is added to poultry during processing. Adding more salt during cooking can increase the already high levels in your bird.

5. Soup. The sodium in one cup of canned soup can be more than half the recommended intake for the whole day.

6. Sandwiches. A sandwich can contain more than 100 percent of the daily recommendations. Try half a sandwich with a side salad instead.

Learn More

Find out how foods qualify for the Heart-Check mark and see a list of certified products at www.heartcheckmark.org.

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Assessing Supplements

(NAPSI)—Sometimes, a healthy diet alone can’t provide all the nutrients you need.

Explains nutritionist Keri Glassman, best-selling author of “The New You (and Improved!) Diet,” CoQ10 is essential for heart health. It’s found in oily fish, meat, whole grains, certain vegetables, and olive, canola and sesame oils.

There’s not enough of this vital nutrient in normal portions, however. Also, Glassman says, there’s a significant difference between conventional CoQ10 and its pre-converted Ubiquinol form.

“Ubiquinol, the natural active form of CoQ10, is a substance produced in the human body until around age 30,” she explains. Glassman tells clients there’s a time and place for supplements and recommends that anyone over 30 take the Ubiquinol form of CoQ10.

Optimal Ubiquinol levels help support cardiovascular, neurological and liver health. It’s the strongest known lipid-soluble antioxidant and may help counter unwanted side effects of statin drugs.

Learn more at www.ubiquinol.org.

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Seniors: Take Aim Against Silent Killers

(NAPSI)—If you’re age 65 or older, odds are you have a chronic condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 80 percent of seniors in the U.S. have at least one chronic condition. The most common chronic conditions among seniors are “silent killers”—diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease that often have no physical symptoms. Despite their silent nature, these conditions may result in life-threatening complications, disability and significant costs if not properly managed.

“A chronic condition like diabetes or heart disease should not be taken lightly,” says Rhonda Randall, D.O., geriatrician and chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “It’s important to get screened for these illnesses annually, even if you don’t have symptoms. If you have a chronic condition, educate yourself and take action to help reduce your risk of serious complications.”

Know your risk factors: Everything from your age, gender and genetics to your diet and exercise affect your risk for chronic conditions. Having regular doctor visits and preventive screenings can help manage potential risks. Medicare covers the cost of many preventive services for people with chronic conditions, including an annual wellness visit at no co-pay.

Reset your lifestyle: Simple diet and exercise changes can help reduce your risk of health complications. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, get back into an activity you enjoy doing. Review the services offered by your health plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits and services to help members live healthier lifestyles, including nutritionist counseling, wellness programs and gym memberships. If you smoke, get out your calendar and circle the day you plan to quit today. Medicare now covers counseling for smoking cessation support.

Have a plan: If you have a chronic condition, good self-management skills may help make the difference between a healthier life and regular visits to the emergency room. Talk with a health professional about what you need to do to manage your condition, develop a treatment plan and set specific goals. Share your plan with family and friends.

Consider specialized Medicare coverage: Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans cover all the services under Original Medicare plus additional benefits and services that may help beneficiaries with chronic conditions live a healthier life. For example, UnitedHealthcare offers plans for Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes, heart failure and/or chronic lung disorders. By working with members and their physicians to coordinate care, Special Needs Plans have been shown to improve health care outcomes among beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

Learn More

For more information on Medicare options for those with chronic conditions, visit www.MedicareMadeClear.com.

For information on how to protect against silent killer diseases, visit the American Heart Association at www.Heart.org.

Information on Medicare preventive services may be found at www.Medicare.gov.

 

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Deteriorating Visual Field May Indicate Low Vision-Solutions Are Available

(NAPSI)—Have you ever looked at a telephone pole and noticed it to be less than straight? Have you detected a loss of your peripheral vision, making it easier for people to startle you or making driving with confidence more difficult?

As you age, your eyes get older, too. And as your eyes get older, your risk for low vision and low vision-causing eye diseases increases. Low vision is common amongst people in their senior years. Once vision is lost by diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, it often cannot be restored. Vision can, however, be preserved, and with a few changes in lifestyle and the use of low vision devices, living independently with low vision can be both safe and fulfilling.

What Is Low Vision?

“Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, pharmaceuticals or surgery,” explained Dr. Paul Michelson, Chair of The Vision Council’s medical arm, the Better Vision Institute, as well as a low vision medical expert. “More likely than not, everyone knows someone with low vision.”

At first, you might notice a bit of distortion in your vision. Something that is a straight line in reality—a telephone pole, for example—may appear to curve to a person with low vision. Low vision can impair the ability to complete activities of daily living or follow routines and enjoy pastimes—such as reading—that people take for granted. It is a common ailment for adults 60+ and seniors who may be aging in place. Low vision is often coupled with a diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.

Low vision differs from presbyopia, which is when the ability to focus on near objects simply diminishes. Signs of low vision are broader and include:

• Areas of blurred or distorted vision or spots and blotches in your vision

• Shadowed or darkened field of view or noticeable loss of peripheral vision

• A gradual loss of central vision

• Cloudy and blurred vision or exaggerated “halos” around bright lights

• Blind spots in your field of view.

Seeing an eye doctor at the first sign of any visual change can help to detect the diseases that result in low vision and is an important step in maintaining good vision. Sometimes there is a pharmaceutical or surgical solution to stop further progression of one of the diseases associated with low vision. There are also eye care providers who specialize in low vision devices. These specialists can help their patients with low vision devices such as stand magnifiers, closed-circuit TVs and telescopic lenses to help them maintain independence and improve their ability to perform daily tasks.

Dr. Michelson also pointed out, “We urge people to check on family, friends and neighbors who might be experiencing some of the signs of low vision. Vision training, vision rehabilitation and low vision devices can help people maintain and optimize visual function, and preserve as much sight as is possible.”

With the goal of raising awareness about symptoms of low vision and finding available resources, The Vision Council created a new website. “The information and resources on this new website can teach people more about the changes they are experiencing. Catching the symptoms of low vision early may help sight be preserved and, in some cases, lessen the advance of low vision,” added Dr. Michelson.

Where To Learn More

To learn more about low vision and find resources, visit www.whatislowvision.org.

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